Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is fundamentally rooted in the traditions and values of ‘a familia’: the family (in Portuguese). The Ribeiro brothers, Saulo and Xande, have demonstrated throughout their careers that filial bonds can be used to motivate, drive, and inspire each other to greatness. The many generations of the Gracie family have helped to spread knowledge and passion for the ‘gentle art’ throughout the world. Rafael and Guillerme Mendes are siblings on the cutting edge of the sport. Each of these families shares a love for the community of BJJ. Sometimes it is represented by their competitive spirit, incomparable instruction, or willingness to promote the art. Most often, it is all of these things.
Xande and Saulo Ribeiro
Five Rings Jiu Jitsu Academy has attracted its own set of familial connections on the local level. Individuals who have enrolled as members are encouraged to invite their relatives to come and share in the excellence that they have found by the presence of strong community support, world class instruction, and top notch facilities.
Sophia, Matt (dad), Koji, Lance (grandfather), and Kai
This is represented well by the three generations of the Tsugawa clan. Matt began by taking jiu jitsu and fitness classes. He quickly recognized the potential for growth and improvement available through his progress in both areas. He shared this with his father, Lance, and his children – Kai, Sophia, and little Koji. Lance admits that it wasn’t easy, at his age, to start a new physical endeavor. He is proud of his son and grandchildren and, indeed, himself for their determination and participation. Kai and Sophia are two of the founding members of Five Rings’ Little Samurai program, which teaches fundamental jiu jitsu and life skills to children who range from four to seven years old. Koji, the youngest Tsugawa, recently joined his siblings in the class and has enthusiastically embraced every challenge he has encountered so far. The Tsugawas are a fine example of how the academy can bring a family closer together through shared activity.
Louie and Andy Hung are judo black belts that have competed at the highest levels of that martial art. They have chosen Five Rings as the conduit to adding strong ground skills to their arsenal of attacks and defenses. These closely knit brothers share their takedown knowledge with the rest of the community by teaching judo throws, grip breaking techniques, and break falls on a weekly basis.
The Hung Brothers
Andy and Louie
Louie’s creativity complements Andy’s affability in such a way that the communication of knowledge is irresistible. Both of these athletes have the potential to redefine the boundaries of sport jiu jitsu. The academy is fortunate to have access to their skillsets and proud to help the Hung brothers make progress along their journey.
The competition team member, the hobbyist, the jiu jitsu enthusiast, the fitness participant… everyone has a place at Five Rings. The Morita family – Tim, Cynthia, Nathan, Caleb, and Kamea – highlight this to a great degree. Tim and Nathan have both competed in various tournaments and have represented Five Rings well.
Cynthia, Kamea, Tim, Caleb, and Nathan
Caleb, also a competitor, enjoys the cerebral side of the martial art. Cynthia is a regular fitness member, who routinely demonstrates her drive and commitment to good health and wellness. Kamea attends the Little Samurai classes with regularity and has achieved the rank of yellow belt at a young age. Each Morita brings something unique to the community. They have found a niche that allows them to share and contribute simultaneously.
The Davidsons (Howard, Jonathan, and Benjamin) and the O’Neal family (Chuck, Joshua, Karen, and Austin) have been with the academy since the doors first opened. The fathers have passed along the Five Rings tradition to son and daughter. The children have taken up that tradition with enthusiasm. Families such as these make up the backbone of the community. They can be counted on to attend tournaments, ninja nights, and summer camps. Their familiar smiling faces welcome new members and represent the continuity of excellence at the gym.
Byron and Alec Roshto
Some father/son combos enjoy training together – the Roshtos (Byron and Alec), the Dutros (Don and Parker), and the Marineaus (Bradley and Nick) exemplify this. There is also a father/daughter training combo – the Whites (Peter and Haskelle). More recent additions like the Jones family (Leonard, Leo, and Nolan) have quickly become fixtures in the BJJ 4 and Little Samurai classes.
Don and Parker Dutro
The Five Rings Juniors Program contains multiple sets of siblings that share the joys of jiu jitsu training on a regular basis. The Piesners (Jonah, Jake, and Sam) have made steady progress through the ranks, while newer families like the Toths (Maddie, Joe, and Orion), the Ganz brothers (Enrico and Antony), the Asentista sisters (Jasmine and Alyssa), and the Ambards (Leo and Viktor) have made a splash with their eagerness and excitement. These kids thrive in the stability and innovation of the curriculum. They bring energy and fun to the community.
Orion, Maddie, and Joe Toth
The academy also represents a surrogate family for many members. It is often said that a lack of blood relation can be transcended by shared sacrifice, hardship, and positive leadership.
“…we few, we happy few, we band of brothers, for he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother…” – William Shakespeare from Henry V.
Training with others over a period of time creates a brotherhood that Five Rings affiliates value highly. It is not uncommon for community members to socialize and associate outside of the academy walls.
Jessica, Hixon, and Coach Eric
The spirit of family at the Five Rings alliance is represented fundamentally by the owners/head coaches: the Dorsetts (Eric, Jessica, Chloe, and Hixon) and the Oberhues (Tom, Coby, Bill, Phil, Jill, David, and Adrienne). The leadership and positive direction provided by these two families set the tone for the rest of the academy to follow. The welcoming atmosphere and multi-level opportunities for families to participate at this school make it a place that the Ribeiro brothers are proud to endorse. The continued efforts of the highly qualified coaching staff and management make it an ideal place for your family to come learn jiu jitsu and increase your health and wellness.
Quotes from Five Rings family members:
- “It’s incredible to have the opportunity to train with my family – my son and my grandchildren – in such a positive environment.” – Lance Tsugawa
- “We love jiu jitsu!” – Koji, Sophia, and Kai Tsugawa
- “The community here is amazing. The coaches know their stuff and the program is solid.” – Jessica Sexton
- “The curriculum is cutting edge, but so much more important than that is the caring and connection that the staff feel for the people – the adults and the children – that train here. There seems to be a genuine effort to go beyond the borders of just being a jiu jitsu gym.” – Leonard Jones
Leo, Leonard, and Nolan Jones